This paper from the Social Interventions Research and Evaluation Network (SIREN) at University of California, San Francisco and Manatt Health addresses legal concerns related to sharing data between healthcare systems, community-based organizations, and others. It sheds light on the circumstances in which healthcare organizations can exchange personal information outside the healthcare sector in compliance with federal and state law, and complements earlier work by focusing specifically on common barriers to the healthcare sector’s involvement in these data sharing activities.

The paper focuses on four use cases that reflect real-life experiences of healthcare institutions implementing cross-sector initiatives and explains how statutes and regulations may be applied to those use cases. It concludes with action steps that healthcare organizations investing in models of care that involve cross-sector data sharing can take to address legal challenges posed by privacy laws. These action steps provide guidance on how to develop a data sharing model that respects privacy while also allowing for the coordination of services across many sectors.

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